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Dog who played Duke, that sarcastic golden retriever in Bush’s beans commercials, dies

Duke, the Bush’s Baked Beans dog, has died — one of them, anyway.

Just before the July 4 holiday, Sam, a golden retriever from Florida, passed away. He was one of several dogs that appeared as “Duke” in television ads.

His death became known when a neighbor of his owner, in Apopka, posted the news on Facebook.

Subsequently, the bean company expressed its sadness on social media.

“We continue to be overwhelmed by fan interest and their love of Duke. The relationship between Jay and his beloved dog Duke is the embodiment of the BUSH’S brand, and has been a part of our family story for more than 20 years,” the company wrote in a Facebook post on Tuesday. “During that time, we’ve worked closely with several dogs who portrayed Duke in our commercials, including Sam. While Sam has not worked with us in years, we are saddened by the news of his passing and are grateful to have had him depict Duke. Because Duke is iconic to BUSH’S and so adored by our fans, we will continue to use him in our ads.”

Sam’s owner, Susan, who trains animals to work in commercials, had him put down. He was suffering from cancer, CBS reported.

dukeOdom shared a photo of Sam sitting in the grass, with an American flag flying behind him. “Here is a photo from his better days. He was a very special dog to all who ever knew or had the pleasure of meeting him. He is and will be missed,” Odom wrote.

Sam’s character “Duke” is known for making sarcastic comments to his “owner,” Jay, in the company’s commercials. A human voices his lines in the ads, many of which deal with dog’s seeming willingness to divulge the the Bush’s secret family recipe.

Give the Fourth of July is a major bean-eating holiday, his death hit home with many, who took to social media to express their sorrow.

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